Updated June 29, 2020 - 2:33 pm
A new political action group announced Monday it will seek to fight Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order mandating face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic and will work to oppose the re-election of any politician who supports the new mandate.
No Mask Nevada registered with the Nevada secretary of state’s office on Thursday and has since launched a website geared at gathering supporting testimonials from voters.
“This is a long-term movement that is designed to defeat elected officials who are hostile to our Constitution and our freedom,” said Ian Bayne, the group’s vice chairman, in a news release. “Masks are a political issue of choice and not one for a governor to mandate with the stroke of a pen.”
Melissa Blundo, a restaurant owner and wife of Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo, is registered as the PAC’s chair.
“The government mask mandate is ruining businesses like mine,” Blundo said in the news release.
Bayne said in a news release the group “claims that Governor Sisolak is depriving citizens of liberty without any due process or input from the legislative branch.”
Sisolak announced the order on Wednesday, making Nevada the 17th state to require face coverings in most public settings. He stressed repeatedly it was not a political issue, rather a matter of public health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cloth face coverings “may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.” The CDC and various other health organizations recommend masks be worn in public settings where social distancing may be difficult.
“It is disappointing and outright dangerous to see any attempt to turn face coverings into a political issue during a public health crisis,” Sisolak spokeswoman Meghin Delaney said. Delaney said scientific evidence clearly supports using face coverings to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“The state has lost far too many Nevadans to this dangerous virus already, and efforts like this will only make the pandemic worse,” she said. “As the Governor said last week, wearing a face covering isn’t a political statement, it’s a medical necessity, a human obligation and it’s good for business.”
Bayne said his group will also work to “recruit candidates to oppose anti-freedom politicians” and host anti-mask protests, which will begin at 4:30 p.m. Monday outside of the Pahrump Nugget.
Bayne is a Republican former political operative, congressional candidate and talk show host.